Screenwriter and Novelist
The writings of GF Newman have helped sharpen the cutting edge that has both shaped our pluralistic society and kept it better informed. He has enraged politicians and policemen; judges and prison officers; doctors and social workers, having exposed their tardiness, indifference, incompetence and corruption.
In 1978 his epoch-making quartet of films for BBCTV, LAW AND ORDER, caused politicians to ask questions in the House of Commons about the state of the criminal justice system, when there was Government pressure put on the BBC not to show the films again or sell them abroad.
In 1982 the Attorney General warned the Royal Court Theatre management not to go ahead with the production of Newman’s OPERATION BAD APPLE, about a massive investigation into police corruption, while an Old Bailey judge subsequently told a jury in a major police corruption trial not to see the play. For the first time in its history the theatre had ticket touts outside.
THE NATION’S HEALTH, his quartet of films for Channel 4, caused a storm of controversy and threats from doctors, one of whom told Newman with Mengelean menace, after a provocative lecture he had delivered at Oxford University, how he’d like him as a patient for two weeks!
His three political films FOR THE GREATER GOOD 1992 examined the doings of politicians and civil servants and found them wanting. BLACK AND BLUE, the film he wrote and produced for BBC1 in 1992 explored racism in the police force and caused the sort of controversy that surprised even Mr Newman.
In 1992 he was given the BAFTA Writer’s Award for a body of work.
In 1995 Mr Newman wrote and produced THE HEALER, a two-part drama for BBC1, that won a BAFTA Best Drama Award, as well as Best Actor for the lead player. In 1995 he directed a short film story, WOE TO THE HUNTER which won ‘best film’ in Malta 1997.
In 1999 he created, wrote and produced the 90 minute pilot episode of JUDGE JOHN DEED. Over the subsequent eight years he wrote and produced, through his company One-Eyed Dog, another 26X90-minute episodes in the series, and sometimes directed.
He’s currently producing two movies, neither written by him, FLOWERS FOR MRS HARRIS, from the Paul Gallico novel, set in 50s Paris and London. OUT OF THE DARK, from a wartime memoir, a love-story set in Paris and Maunthausen, one that transcends the concentration camps.
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